Savvy England
Savvy England
Savvy England

Looking to Switch Bank Accounts in September 2018? This helpful UK guide will tell you all you need to know!

By Phillip Gray
Founder and Editor
switch building societyIts never been easier switching bank accounts in the UK, normally there’s introductory offers and savings to be had on a regular basis. Did you know, around 3% of personal and 4% of business customers switch to a different bank in any year.

It’s stated that personal customers in England can typically save around £92 per year by switching provider. Small businesses could save around £80 per year on average. (Source - UK Government )

Of course, like most things in life, there’s some great tips you should look out for. This page has been designed to help British banking customers get the most for their money and to understand all aspects about switching banks in the UK.


Tips for Switching Your Bank Account UK


There’s no shame in wanting to find the best possible deal for your requirements, after all, we switch energy providers, insurance companies and more on a yearly basis, so why shouldn’t a bank be any different?

Typically, some people think it’s a ‘hassle’ to move to another organisation, after building a relationship with their current provider over several years. However, a new bank is more likely to offer you a better deal for your custom.

Here’s some points to consider before switching bank accounts:

  • Switching is an easy process – The process of moving bank accounts is a much quicker procedure than it used to be a few years ago. In September 2013, ‘seven-day switching’ was introduced and most UK banks signed up to the scheme.

    This simply means a switch takes seven working days to complete. It includes the transfer of all details, standing orders and direct debts. Such as utility bills, salary and so on. If for whatever reason anything gets transferred wrongly to your new account, you can usually seek a refund from the provider. (Please see your banks terms and conditions for more information).


  • You’ll need to pass a credit check – You’ll find that most of the UK’s major banks will offer some form of overdraft facility, this means you will typically need to pass a credit check before being accepted. If you have a poor credit score, but still want a new banking account, please click on the following link to view our fantastic Opening a Bank Account with a Poor Credit History page.


  • Are you Overdrawn? – It can still be possible to move accounts, even if you’re overdrawn. There’s no set ‘rule’ which states you must be in credit. In most cases your new provider will decide whether they want to accept you or not.

    Some providers will, others won’t, you may have to ‘shop around’ to find one which will. While you’re looking remember to select a bank or building society which offers low interest rates for overdrafts. After all, you don’t want to end up paying more than you do now. If you’re having trouble managing your money, please visit our superb monthly budget calculator. This can help you to plan more easily and see where you’re spending too much.


  • Can’t get accepted for a new account? - Sometimes you may get rejected when applying for a new bank account. As all providers have different specifications, there’s no real ‘answer’ why you could have been rejected.

    In most cases you’ll be rejected if you’ve been bankrupt, have a CCJ or have been convicted for money related offences such as fraud and money laundering. If you’re finding it difficult to open a new account, please view our Opening a Bank Account with a Poor Credit Score page for further information and details.


  • Switching bonuses – You may notice fantastic switching offers and introductory bonuses for new customers. These can obviously be tempting as banks want your custom. On some occasions, the type of accounts offered can include higher than normal interest rates.

    So, while it may seem like a ‘good’ deal, it may actually ‘bite’ you on the bum further down the road. Changing higher interest rates, means building societies and banks can ‘recoup’ their offers and make even more money out of their customers. Of course, not every organisation does this, please always read all the documentation and conditions before switching to a new provider. Remember everybody has different circumstances and requirements, so make sure it’s correct for your own personal needs.


  • Avoid unauthorised charges – Of course its always a good idea to not slip into an overdraft, some providers can charge hefty fees. If you’re wanting to change bank, then your new provider may not accept you or provide an overdraft facility for the same amount you currently have.

    If you’re having trouble with your spending, please visit our Monthly budget planner page. This is a great tool designed to help members of the British public with their day to day financial commitments. Simply enter your outgoings and incomings to see where you’re spending too much!


  • Are you a student or recent graduate? – In most cases, a standard current account isn’t ideal for somebody in education. Most major building societies and banks will have student accounts and graduate accounts. Many of these accounts offer generous 0% overdrafts over a longer period than normal. For further information and to find a bank which suits you, please visit our Best Student Bank Accounts and Best Graduate Bank Accounts for further information.


UK Moving Bank Accounts - Frequently Asked Questions


changing bank accountsMoving to a new bank can seem like an uphill challenge, however it’s fairly simple. Alot of people worry about the process, however it's even been as easy!

Here’s some of the frequently asked questions and answers to help you through the process.

How long does it take to switch bank accounts in the UK?
It takes seven working days to switch from one provider to another. This is called ‘seven day switch’. Sometimes it can be quicker than this, depending on the ‘demand’ and other factors. However, most UK organisations will have all of your details processed within the standard seven-day period.
Does the seven-day bank switching process automatically move direct debits and standing orders?
Yes, the seven day switching scheme transfers all of your standing orders and direct directs to your new account. This means you shouldn’t miss a bill payment, council tax, a mortgage payment or having your salary paid into your new account. It’s recommended to pick a ‘switch date’ which is as ‘far away’ from the days you pay any bills.
If I move bank account, do I get a new debit card and pin?
Yes, you do get a new card and pin, as you’re now with a new banking organisation. However, you should note your new card and pin don’t always arrive within the seven-day period. Strangely, your new account might be ‘open’ and running, but you may have to wait longer for your card to arrive in the post.
Which banks and building societies are signed up to seven day switching?
Not all UK banks and building societies are involved in the seven-day switching scheme, however most major ones are. Click here to find out which ones have signed up to the scheme.
Can I change bank account if I’m overdrawn?
The answer is, it ‘depends’ – there’s no strict rules to say you can’t, however, it’s usually the decision of your new provider, to say whether they want to accept you or not. If you’re having trouble with day to day spending, please click on the link to visit our monthly budget planner to help you plan your money accordingly.
What day will my switch happen?
Usually you select a specific date for the ‘switch’ to take place. The process doesn’t start until seven days BEFORE your date. For example, let’s say you want your new account open on the 18th of July, the switch will start on the 10th of July.
I have an ISA and credit card with my bank, will these switch as well?
Generally no, having an ISA or credit card is normally a ‘separate’ facility from a standard current account. It’s OK to move your current account to a new bank and leave a credit card or ISA with your old bank (if that’s what you want to do). This even applies if you have a direct debit paying off a credit balance or into an ISA. Your new account will simply ‘pay’ from there.
Does my old bank account get closed when I switch to a new company?
Yes, it does. If you’re changing providers by the seven-day current account switch service (also known as CASS). Your new bank should automatically close your old account when it’s completed moving all your direct debits, standing orders and payment details.
How often can I move bank accounts?
In theory you can ‘switch’ as often as you like. This means you ‘may’ get yourself hundreds of pounds worth of introductory bonuses and deals, however there’s one obvious drawback. Usually when switching, your new account provider will run a check credit on you. This obviously means the more credit checks which are undertaken, the higher chance of a negative effect on your credit rating, thus you’ll end up being rejected for all sorts of accounts and credit facilities.

Original Publication: 01 May 2017
Last Updated: 01 May 2018

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